UT3 Weapon Rundown: Impact Hammer

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Games, Unreal Tournament

UT3IH0

The classic melee weapon. Hold down the primary fire button to start the engine, which will chug a few times before reaching its maximum velocity. Then apply an opponent’s face to it. The secondary fire is an electrical discharge mode that, by all accounts, will knock powerups like the Shield Belt or Damage Amplifier off of opponents.

UT3IH1

The Impact Hammer primary is a great tool for taking out opponents in close quarters, preferably when you can catch them unawares. It will do about 140 damage to an opponent in DeathMatch, so it’s an instant kill more often than not. I wouldn’t mind seeing the damage upped some, though, as 140 damage is not really all that much when you consider there are three armor pickups to get now, plus health vials and super health. I’m pretty much of the opinion that if you let someone get close enough to Impact Hammer you, you deserve to die. Something like 180 to 200 damage seems more fitting to me. Just for comparison, the Shield Gun in UT2004 did 150 damage on a full charge, although it seemed to charge slower than the UT3 Impact Hammer.

UT3IH1A

The blood splatters that get on your screen after smearing an opponent are a nice touch, but I’m also hoping for the option to turn that off, as it has a tendency to block my view. Even a few milliseconds of being disoriented can get you killed.

UT3IH2

Realistically, the electrical discharge secondary fire isn’t very effective in DeathMatch. It does no damage to players, merely knocks off the powerups they may have. If I know I have an opponent coming after me, I am more concerned about killing him and surviving than about knocking powerups off of him. After all, many pickups, such as the Damage Amplifier, Berserk, Invisibility, or Jump Boots now drop after death regardless. The only things that do not drop are health pickups (which cannot be knocked off via the Impact Hammer secondary) or armor pickups (which can be knocked off).

On the other hand, the Impact Hammer’s secondary fire it is a good weapon to deploy against Mantas in vehicular gametypes. Assuming the vehicle balance in UT3 will continue to be like it was in UT2004, the Manta is the ultimate vehicle in the majority of game situations, so having an option to deal with it is nice. Prime the secondary fire and aim at the nose of a Manta that is heading straight-on at you. With any luck, if the Manta hits you dead-on, it will cause the Impact Hammer to discharge before the Manta runs you over, bouncing the vehicle back and doing about 150 damage to it. You will probably take some damage, so be aware this might be suicidal at low health, but jousting in this way can be, in some situations, your best option.

Watch out if the Manta was not destroyed by the attack. Mantas have 200 health, so a fresh Manta will survive it, but if it’s taken any real substantial damage it won’t. If the Manta survives, it can easily recover and sweep you with its wings or blast you with its plasma guns, and it’s unlikely you’ll have had time to charge a second attack. The Impact Hammer secondary jousting tactic will also likely be useful against Necris Vipers, as from all indications they are very similar to the Manta.

It does not seem to be effective against Scorpions. Scorpions have 300 health, so they are far less likely to be at low enough health to destroy with the Impact Hammer secondary, not to mention that excessive whining about vehicle physics in UT2004 has led to the Scorpion being virtually immovable by any attack, including the Impact Hammer secondary. You will not be able to bounce the Scorpion back as you can the Manta, so you’re pretty much dead unless you can hit it in the side as it passes, and the thing has blades on the front, so good luck with that. The majority of the other vehicles we’ve seen so far, such as the Hellbender or the Goliath will kill a footsoldier easily at close range, so don’t bother unless you’re catching them off guard or you’re out of ammo with everything else.

The charge up time of either fire mode isn’t represented with a status bar, so it’s difficult to tell exactly how long it takes to go from nothing to fully-primed, but it seems to be around 1.5 seconds. I think that’s a tad, perhaps a quarter of a second, too long. Some kind of status bar would be nice, the only real way to tell is via the sound the weapon makes, and that can be drowned out in loud situations.

Impact Hammer jumping returns, and it’s actually a lot friendlier than it used to be. Self-damage has been reduced quite a bit when jumping, making it a viable option to use in Free For All DeathMatches where complete item domination isn’t an option. A lot of maps seem to have been designed with the use of the hammer jump in mind, as well, so it’s not merely a tactic useful for finding exploits. I have yet to test out how well someone might be able to utilize piston-boot-jumps, or hammering your own translocator. Hopefully these old tricks have managed to carry over at least somewhat.

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